Questions to Ask When Roach Bait Doesn't Work

Most Effective Products

Supreme IT Insecticide
Suspended Concentrate
As low as $54.99
Apex Cockroach Gel Bait
Gel Bait
As low as $24.99
Gentrol Point Source IGR Plastic Disk
As low as $1.77
Keith's Pro Tips

"Make sure when baiting that you make clean tiny beads and not smears or lines of bait as this makes roaches more likely to consume the bait."

Questions to Ask When Roach Bait Doesn't Work

Roach bait is supposed to be an effective total control roach killer. The key phrase in that sentence? Supposed to. Sometimes they don’t work and roaches continue to linger around, surviving and thriving to the frustration of the homeowner. Scan the internet for reviews on different roach baits and you may see a bunch of exasperated people up in arms complaining about how the roach bait stinks and didn’t do any damage to the infestation they have.

Some go on to point blame to the bait being inferior and a waste of money but in actuality, it may not be the fault of the bait at all. Often times a roach bait is rendered ineffective is because of poor application procedure. Other times it may be the roaches’ fault. You can find out what the problem is by asking yourself a few questions. In this article, we will touch on some questions so you can get to a solution to your roach issue.

Are you eliminating the roaches other food sources?


A big important step that you must do before applying any bait is eliminating all sources of food that roaches may feast on. If you still have crumbs on the counter and in your toaster, spills in the microwave, grease on the stove and moisture behind the refrigerator, the roaches won’t be compelled to try the bait you have laid out because there are so many other options for food.

Our experts at Solutions emphasize sanitation as a prerequisite before using any products, including bait. Once you clean and sweep and wipe up your kitchen, the roaches will not have anything to eat. That’s when you lay the bait out and it’ll be the most effective because they don’t have anything else to munch on but what’s presented to them.

How long have you been using this bait?

Gel Bait Application in Cabinet

Check the expiration date of your bait. If the bait you have been using has been around for a while, as time goes by the effect of the bait will be less and less. Roaches can quickly evolve and adapt and so they require new fresh batches of product. If you’re using old product, they may avoid it entirely or even consume it and it won’t kill them! Make sure you always have the latest and greatest products such as Apex Cockroach Gel Bait.

Where have you been applying the bait?


Cockroach bait contains attractants to lure roaches but it’s kind of pointless if it’s applied in the wrong area. While roaches have a powerful sense of smell and may approach where you have put the bait, you need to place the bait in high traffic area. The truth is there’s no good reason why a roach will go out of their way when nearby there’s food readily available for them.

Also if you’re feeling disappointed that you don’t see a bunch of dead roaches lying around after laying bait that doesn’t mean the bait hasn’t been working. Roaches live in tight spaces that you may not be able to get to and they may be dropping dead in their hiding spots.

Are you using an Insect Growth Regulator?

Gentrol IGR

Often times using bait alone may not be enough. The bait may kill off adult roaches but what about the eggs they constantly leave behind? If these aren’t taken care of, even if the adults have been eliminated, you’ll have the next generation to deal with once the eggs hatch. Using an insect growth regulator like Gentrol Point Source along with baits and insecticides you are using. This product acts as a birth control and will stop eggs from hatching.

Are you using both bait and pesticide sprays?

Indoor Reclaim treatment

Roach baits can kill quickly but they aren’t instant on-contact killers like roach sprays. The whole point of using roach bait is not to kill a roach or two but the ENTIRE population via a domino effect. For that to work, roach baits need to have a delayed kill so when roaches take the bait, they return with the bait to their population and share the poison.

Using spray chemicals at the same time as bait will ruin the domino effect because the chemical inside the roach spray will scare off the roaches and cause roach aversion from the bait. The bait is useless if roaches don’t want to go near it. So go with bait first and give it some time for it to work its magic before adding other products in your roach control program. We typically recommend baiting for at least 10 days before using an insecticide chemical to aid in controlling the infestation. If you’re ready for insecticide, we recommend using Supreme IT Insecticide.

Once you have asked yourself these questions, you can figure out where things went wrong in your bait application procedure and tackle those roaches stronger and wiser.

Key Takeaways

  • Baiting is one of the most effective ways of addressing an indoor roach infestation, but it can be frustrating when applying bait doesn't look to be making a difference.
  • Often the issue with cockroaches not taking bait or accepting bait is poor application techniques such as placing bait in the wrong place, poor sanitation or using old bait that doesn't have an effective formula.
  • We highly recommend using Apex Cockroach Bait and combining baiting with the use of an Insect Growth Regulator like Gentrol Point Source and a solid insecticide like Supreme IT.
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